New HSSE sub working group needs your help!

New HSSE sub working group needs your help!

At the end of 2015, an association member approached IBIA to discuss concerns they had about a lack of clarity over the responsibilities for effective control of Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) issues relating to the suitability of barges, the standard of equipment used and the provision of the correct interface equipment for connecting barge to ship for deliveries.

An exploratory meeting was held in London where these issues were aired.  It was attended by eight members with interests as traders, suppliers, buyers, lawyers and the secretariat. At this meeting it was agreed that this was a suitable topic for a sub group of the Operations working group to progress.

The formation of this sub group was approved by the Board in 2015 and has since defined three strands of progress;

  • To quantify the number of times deliveries are frustrated by equipment difficulties, especially related to connections either on the barge or on the receiving ship
  • To improve the access to data on the standard of barges
  • To explore the possibility of a clause, clearly stating the responsibilities for the provision of equipment of appropriate quality of standard.

The sub group had initially hoped to be in a position to issue an interim report by end of April 2016.

The member who triggered the initial enquiry undertook to liaise with SIRE and with OCIMF on the issue of access to the SIRE reporting system on barges.

The sub group, through the secretariat approached a number of owner organisations with a view to collating data on connection standards in current use, and the perception of the number of deliveries where problems were experienced.

The issue of an acceptable clause was to be developed by the sub group with the assistance of the Legal working group.

Some progress has been made with SIRE although there are still difficulties to be resolved on cost of inspections and ready access to reports. The flow of data from the ship owner groups has been patchy, partly due to staff changes and lack of coordination but we are now at a stage where we can approach the barge operating community to collate their opinions on the issue of connection equipment.

We hope that now that the restructuring of the working groups has been accepted by the Board (April 2016) that we can progress the issue of the HSSE clause.  We are very keen for interested members to become involved with this sub group.

Members can contact the secretariat for further information or can communicate directly with the sub group chairman, Nigel Draffin on

Depending on the degree of support from the membership, we hope to issue the interim report in Q3 of 2016.


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